A Mine Field of Discarded Face Masks

For those who may not have noticed, because the virus situation has now passed the one-year mark, ‘Covid fatigue’ is setting in among a growing percentage of the population and some are just done with all the restrictions and mandates. 

One obvious sign of this is that more people are just shedding their masks. Right or wrong, we can understand the frustration of walking around looking like stage-coach robbers from the Old West, as well as the discomfort and breathing difficulties that come with these face coverings.  But when shedding these masks, is it really necessary to just toss them onto the streets and sidewalks all over town? Well, it seems to some people it is.  Because from our own observations and the number of complaints coming in, you can’t walk a block without seeing discarded masks. Whether you are shopping on Broadway, walking along the beach or out with the family at Castle Island, the odds are if you look down, you will come across someone’s mask.

This growing phenomenon isn’t just an eye sore; it’s also a health hazard; it’s unsanitary and also pretty disgusting. We, as a community, are better than this. While most dog owners are conscientious and have enough pride in their neighborhood to pick up after their pets, there are still a few who do not.  And, if that isn’t bad enough, adding used face masks to the debris makes the condition of our streets and walkways now worse than it has ever been in quite some time. Yes, there are laws against littering, but not enough enforcement. Yet, common sense and consideration of others SHOULD be enough to deter messy people.  But unfortunately, in some cases and with some people it isn’t.

 The purpose of this editorial isn’t so much to scold or lecture the offenders, as it is to appeal to them to please try to do better.  We doubt that there is anyone out there who actually likes seeing littered streets.  It’s safe to say that most want our walkways kept clean.  But since city cleanup crews cannot be everywhere 24/7, it’s up to all of us to do our part.